Definitions for reasonˈri zən

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word reason

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

rea•son*ˈri zən(n.)

  1. a basis or cause, as for some belief, action, fact, or event.

  2. a statement presented in justification or explanation of a belief or action.

  3. the mental powers concerned with forming conclusions, judgments, or inferences.

  4. sound judgment; good sense.

  5. normal or sound powers of mind; sanity.

  6. Logic. a premise of an argument.

    Category: Philosphy

  7. Philos. the faculty or power of acquiring intellectual knowledge, either by direct understanding of first principles or by argument. the power of intelligent and dispassionate thought, or of conduct influenced by such thought.

    Category: Philosphy

  8. (v.i.)to think or argue in a logical manner.

  9. to form conclusions, judgments, or inferences from facts or premises.

  10. to urge reasons that should determine belief or action.

  11. (v.t.)to think through logically, as a problem (often fol. by out).

  12. to conclude or infer.

  13. to convince, persuade, etc., by reasoning.

  14. to support with reasons.

Idioms for reason:

  1. by reason of,on account of; because of.

    Category: Idiom

  2. in or within reason,in accord with reason; justifiable.

    Category: Idiom

  3. with reason,with ample justification; fittingly.

    Category: Idiom

* Usage: The construction reasonisbecause is criticized in a number of usage guides: The reason for the long delays was because the costs far exceeded the original estimates. One objection is based on redundancy: the word because (literally, by cause) contains within it the meaning “reason.” A second objection is based on the claim that because can introduce only adverbial clauses and that reasonis requires completion by a noun clause. Critics would substitute that for because in the offending construction: The reason for the long delays was that the costs. … Nevertheless, reasonisbecause is still common in almost all levels of speech and occurs often in edited writing as well. A similar charge of redundancy is made against thereasonwhy , which is also a well-established idiom: The reason why the bill failed to pass was the defection of three key senators. Both phrases are easy to avoid if desired.

Origin of reason:

1175–1225; ME resoun, reisun (n.) < OF reisun, reson < L ratiōnem, acc. of ratiō reckoning, reason; see ratio


Princeton's WordNet

  1. reason, ground(noun)

    a rational motive for a belief or action

    "the reason that war was declared"; "the grounds for their declaration"

  2. reason(noun)

    an explanation of the cause of some phenomenon

    "the reason a steady state was never reached was that the back pressure built up too slowly"

  3. reason, understanding, intellect(noun)

    the capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination

    "we are told that man is endowed with reason and capable of distinguishing good from evil"

  4. rationality, reason, reasonableness(noun)

    the state of having good sense and sound judgment

    "his rationality may have been impaired"; "he had to rely less on reason than on rousing their emotions"

  5. cause, reason, grounds(noun)

    a justification for something existing or happening

    "he had no cause to complain"; "they had good reason to rejoice"

  6. reason(verb)

    a fact that logically justifies some premise or conclusion

    "there is reason to believe he is lying"

  7. reason, reason out, conclude(verb)

    decide by reasoning; draw or come to a conclusion

    "We reasoned that it was cheaper to rent than to buy a house"

  8. argue, reason(verb)

    present reasons and arguments

  9. reason(verb)

    think logically

    "The children must learn to reason"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. reason(noun)ˈri zən

    a piece of information that explains why sth happened

    The report gave engine failure as the reason for the crash.; There were lots of reasons why he got mad.; Give me one good reason why I should believe you.

  2. reasonˈri zən

    indicates you do not know why

    She was really upset for some reason.

  3. reasonˈri zən

    information or evidence that shows that it is right to believe sth

    We have reason to believe he has the stolen goods.

  4. reasonˈri zən

    making a stronger argument

    The higher gas prices are all the more reason to travel less.

  5. reasonˈri zən

    the range of behaviors that are considered sensible or acceptable

    You can do anything you want, within reason.

  6. reasonˈri zən

    the natural ability of humans to think, understand, make arguments, etc.

    the power of reason

  7. reason(verb)ˈri zən

    to think or decide after considering facts

    "They'll never look for us here," he reasoned.

  8. reasonˈri zən

    to use the natural human ability for reason

    Our ability to reason makes us different from animals.


  1. reason(Noun)

    a cause:

  2. reason(Noun)

    rational thinking (or the capacity for it; the cognitive faculties, collectively, of conception, judgment, deduction and intuition;

    Mankind should develop reason above all other virtues.

  3. reason(Noun)

    something reasonable, in accordance with thought; justice.

  4. reason(Noun)

    due exercise of the reasoning faculty

  5. reason(Noun)

    ratio; proportion.

  6. reason(Verb)

    To exercise the rational faculty; to deduce inferences from premises; to perform the process of deduction or of induction; to ratiocinate; to reach conclusions by a systematic comparison of facts.

  7. reason(Verb)

    Hence: To carry on a process of deduction or of induction, in order to convince or to confute; to formulate and set forth propositions and the inferences from them; to argue.

  8. reason(Verb)

    To converse; to compare opinions.

  9. reason(Verb)

    To arrange and present the reasons for or against; to examine or discuss by arguments; to debate or discuss.

    I reasoned the matter with my friend.

  10. reason(Verb)

    To support with reasons, as a request.

  11. reason(Verb)

    To persuade by reasoning or argument.

    to reason one into a belief; to reason one out of his plan

  12. reason(Verb)

    To overcome or conquer by adducing reasons.

    to reason down a passion

  13. reason(Verb)

    To find by logical process; to explain or justify by reason or argument.

    to reason out the causes of the librations of the moon

  14. Origin: From raisun ( raison), from rationem, an accusative of ratio, from ratus, past participle of reor.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Reason(noun)

    a thought or a consideration offered in support of a determination or an opinion; a just ground for a conclusion or an action; that which is offered or accepted as an explanation; the efficient cause of an occurrence or a phenomenon; a motive for an action or a determination; proof, more or less decisive, for an opinion or a conclusion; principle; efficient cause; final cause; ground of argument

  2. Reason(noun)

    the faculty or capacity of the human mind by which it is distinguished from the intelligence of the inferior animals; the higher as distinguished from the lower cognitive faculties, sense, imagination, and memory, and in contrast to the feelings and desires. Reason comprises conception, judgment, reasoning, and the intuitional faculty. Specifically, it is the intuitional faculty, or the faculty of first truths, as distinguished from the understanding, which is called the discursive or ratiocinative faculty

  3. Reason(noun)

    due exercise of the reasoning faculty; accordance with, or that which is accordant with and ratified by, the mind rightly exercised; right intellectual judgment; clear and fair deductions from true principles; that which is dictated or supported by the common sense of mankind; right conduct; right; propriety; justice

  4. Reason(noun)

    ratio; proportion

  5. Reason(noun)

    to exercise the rational faculty; to deduce inferences from premises; to perform the process of deduction or of induction; to ratiocinate; to reach conclusions by a systematic comparison of facts

  6. Reason(noun)

    hence: To carry on a process of deduction or of induction, in order to convince or to confute; to formulate and set forth propositions and the inferences from them; to argue

  7. Reason(noun)

    to converse; to compare opinions

  8. Reason(verb)

    to arrange and present the reasons for or against; to examine or discuss by arguments; to debate or discuss; as, I reasoned the matter with my friend

  9. Reason(verb)

    to support with reasons, as a request

  10. Reason(verb)

    to persuade by reasoning or argument; as, to reason one into a belief; to reason one out of his plan

  11. Reason(verb)

    to overcome or conquer by adducing reasons; -- with down; as, to reason down a passion

  12. Reason(verb)

    to find by logical processes; to explain or justify by reason or argument; -- usually with out; as, to reason out the causes of the librations of the moon


  1. Reason

    Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, for establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, mathematics, and art, and is normally considered to be a definitive characteristic of human nature. The concept of reason is sometimes referred to as rationality and sometimes as discursive reason, in opposition to intuitive reason. Reason or "reasoning" is associated with thinking, cognition, and intellect. Reason, like habit or intuition, is one of the ways by which thinking comes from one idea to a related idea. For example, it is the means by which rational beings understand themselves to think about cause and effect, truth and falsehood, and what is good or bad. In contrast to reason as an abstract noun, a reason is a consideration which explains or justifies some event, phenomenon or behaviour. The ways in which human beings reason through argument are the subject of inquiries in the field of logic. Reason is closely identified with the ability to self-consciously change beliefs, attitudes, traditions, and institutions, and therefore with the capacity for freedom and self-determination.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Reason

    in philosophy is more than mere understanding or reasoning power; it is the constitutive and regulative soul of the universe assumed to live and breathe in the inner life or soul of man, as that develops itself in the creations of human genius working in accord with and revealing the deep purpose of the Maker.

  2. Reason

    in German Vernunft, defined by Dr. Stirling "the faculty that unites and brings together, as against the understanding," in German Verstand, "the faculty that separates, and only in separation knows," and that is synthetic of the whole, whereof the latter is merely analytic of the parts, sundered from the whole, and without idea of the whole, the former being the faculty which construes the diversity of the universe into a unity or the one, whereas the latter dissolves the unity into diversity or the many.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. reason

    The arithmetic of the emotions.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reason' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #548

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reason' in Written Corpus Frequency: #493

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reason' in Nouns Frequency: #88

Translations for reason

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


something which makes something happen, describes why it happened, should happen or is going to happen etc

What is the reason for this noise?; What is your reason for going to London?; The reason (why) I am going is that I want to.

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